Can you guess how much holiday grocery ingredients cost in the '50s?

There was so much food you could buy under $20 to celebrate the holidays.


While grocery shopping, you might notice that ingredients are higher than usual. Most of the time, things like an increase in prices make you think about earlier decades when groceries were affordable.

Remember when you could get vegetables from your local grocery store for 25 cents per pound in the 1950s? Can you guess how much these groceries were during that time? Remember, the food choices are holiday-dinner-inspired.

Note: Some prices were different depending on the state during that time, so these are average prices from Classmate's blog.

  1. On average, what was the cost of a turkey in the 1950s?
  2. How much was a pound of butter in the 1950s?
  3. How much was a block of American cheese in the 1950s?
  4. How much was five pounds of potatoes in the 1950s?
  5. On average, how much was a box of cake mix in the 1950s?
  6. On average, how much was a dozen eggs in the 1950s?
  7. On average, how much was a gallon of milk in the 1950s?
  8. How much was five pounds of sugar in the 1950s?
  9. How much was two pounds of apples in the 1950s? (For apple pie purposes)
  10. How much was a can of cranberry sauce in the 1950s?

Can you guess how much holiday grocery ingredients cost in the '50s?

Your Result...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque nec ante ipsum. Mauris viverra, urna et porta sagittis, lorem diam dapibus diam, et lacinia libero quam id risus.
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Brysonsmom 18 months ago
Only got 4 right 😩 Too bad we can’t have today’s wages and the 50’s grocery prices!
Lillyrose 18 months ago
5 out of 10. My dad, who was a teenager in the 1950's, says that salaries were a lot lower then. Money was worth more. The economy was great. He said that it's all relative.
Runeshaper 18 months ago
3/10 Good prices in the 50s! LOL
Charlotte 18 months ago
Yes, things were cheaper in the 50's, but so was the income. My grandma would say those things were expensive back then. Prices rise with the times & INFLATION...duh!
GeorgeVieto 18 months ago
3 out of 10 since I was not on this planet in that time.
BuckeyeBeth 18 months ago
2/10 I really don’t know how much groceries cost in the 50s, but I think I can be forgiven since it was way before my time. Every time I thought the price would be the lowest, it was the middle one. And then when I thought it might be the middle one, it was the lowest. I guess watching The Waltons and hearing their prices at Ike’s in the 30s & 40s messed up my guesses lol

That said, I still enjoy these types of trivia quizzes. It’s an opportunity to learn new things. Keep them coming MeTV staff!
Coldnorth BuckeyeBeth 18 months ago
I got the same as you. I would have no idea of the prices I was just a little girl
Riff60 18 months ago
5/10. I wasn't born until 1961 so not bad for all pure guesses
Moverfan Riff60 14 months ago
I got the same score...and since I was born in 1962, all I COULDdo was guess! (And swear a little, maybe...)
Sally 18 months ago
6/10 not too bad since I was just a child in the 50's. I went grocery shopping with my mom but never looked at prices. :) When I was newly married in 1973 my hubby and I had a budget of $20 a week for groceries. I can hardly believe we managed!
QazWiz Sally 18 months ago
i know jello was a dime but that's because youtube videos
Moverfan Sally 14 months ago
When I look at housing prices these days, I think of how my parents told me they bought our house (9 rooms counting the bathroom, 2 stories) for $10,500. Considering neither one of them ever had a credit card and my dad's philosophy waz if you couldn't afford something now, you saved up for it, I'm still surprised they had a mortgage (which was all paid off when my sister and I inherited the place).
Sally Moverfan 14 months ago
We bought our first house in 1978. It was a hundred years old with a shared wall with our next door neighbor. Some people call it a duplex? Anyway, it cost $39,000 for two bedroom, one bath. I can't imagine what it would go for in todays market!
Pacificsun 18 months ago
So it's an interesting assumption that the MeTV Staff writers are making. For us to be cognizant of "shopping" in the 50's is assuming that we're born around 1940. That makes us about 74 years old. Do they really think that majority of "Classic TV" views are nearly 75!! I'm talking about the 𝒎𝒂𝒋𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚! We must seem like old geezers to them, who can barely toddle along.

So I wasn't aware of shopping until the Sixties and I remember gas on the West Coast inching up from about $.39 a gal, not even nearing a $1.00. A can of peas was $.19. And a half gallon of imitation ice cream (that's what it was called) was about $.59 a carton. The price of milk (and I believe eggs) and certain dairy products were capped. Bags of flour and sugar and basic staples lasted forever. We did our weekly shopping for $20. And a neighboring family of 8, shopped at a discount store for $100 for the week. Prices didn't have as much to do with "wages" (though they were low). But so were the price of goods and housing and everything else. Which life in general, affordable.
ELEANOR Pacificsun 18 months ago
Yes, METV Staff, I and everybody else grew up with dial phones, manual typewriters, no seatbelts or child car seats, and the ability to walk to school and/or go anywhere by ourselves. It was a great time!

Of course as a child I had no idea what groceries cost, but the total always came out to about $20.00.
Pacificsun ELEANOR 18 months ago
It's curious that so many of us survived without those assumed safety precautions. No doubt they were warranted eventually. I guess when there was a reality about reporting such things. "Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was very influential in this area of the country, with so many miles of highways and great weather. Those highway accidents, which used to be PSAs, sobered up drivers quickly. And then the blueprint for that approach to public awareness, spread to Mothers Against Violence on TV, and campaigns against other nuisances. And I guess publishing the horrors of smoking tipped everybody else over the edge.

Still, there was a comfort and confidence about those years. Decency and consideration prevailed. Not perfect, but well enough!
dmzabooo ELEANOR 18 months ago
$20 bucks can hardly get you 6#'s of red grapes these days. I know as time goes by we must expect to pay more for common things. But these days are extra tough when you are on a fixed budget.
Moverfan ELEANOR 14 months ago
I walked to and from grade school--which was only four blocks from my house--and I walked junior high, which was maybe not quite two miles, but it was a straight shot from the school to my neighborhood (all I had to remember was to cross the street at some point because my school and block were on opposite sides of that road). When I got to high school, I rode my bike home...and sometimes called home to say I was going to stop at the library and could my dad pick me up on his way home. These days I talk about walking here or there (never learned how to drive) and people are absolutely horrified!
richaroo74 18 months ago
4 out of 10. Never been a bargain shopper. 😆
jtrain 18 months ago
8/10 got the first and last ones wrong.
ELEANOR 18 months ago
If you have ever watched the grocery store checkout scene in "Yours, Mine and Ours," you would be truly amazed. They had four carts full of groceries and the tape was about three yards long and the total was -- get this -- was between $100 and $200. Those were the days my friend, I'd thought they'd never end.
Moverfan ELEANOR 14 months ago
I remember my mom spending thst much for four of us (well, six if you count the cats...and we did) from the late seventies through the nineties...and that was with coupons and bottle returns!
Zip 18 months ago
Any random person: "Boy, this holiday season is really going to suck. The economy is trashed, nobody has any money to buy anything, and people are miserable. We can't feel much worse than this."

MeTV writing staff: "Hold my beer!"
tmikemay5 18 months ago
Wish the 50s would come back life was so much easier back then seems like
Snickers tmikemay5 18 months ago
Yea, back then you didn't have to worry about getting shot going shopping.
BigE 18 months ago
5/10, I was born in 1961.
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